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Letter: Brown Dining Services violates U., R.I. labor policies

To the Editor:

We are current and former student supervisors and managers writing to inform you that we believe that Brown Dining Services fails to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, Rhode Island General Law 28-12-3.2 and Brown University policy 40.030.

The FLSA states, “An employee who is required to remain on call on the employer’s premises is working while ‘on call.’” Rhode Island General Law 28-12-3.2 states, “An employer who requests or permits any employee to report for duty at the beginning of a work shift and does not furnish at least three hours work on that shift, shall pay the employee not less than three times the regular hourly rate.” The University policy 40.030 states, “When non-exempt employees are on-call and are required to remain on Brown’s premises, they are considered to be working and must be compensated.”

Per their respective supervisor and manager agreements, student supervisors and managers in the Blue Room, Carts and Cashiers units have been required to work on-call hours for years. These agreements all state that supervisors must “be at Brown to work in (their) unit for the entirety of the time that it is in operation” and detail the requirements for specific on-call hours which fall within the purview of the previously quoted regulations.

Brown Dining Services did not respond to a proposal created by Assistant General Manager Benjamin Potee ’19 last year to compensate employees for these hours. In the proposal, Potee showed that supervisors and managers in the Carts and Cashiers units work 358 to 635 hours on call each semester. Blue Room supervisors have testified they work 128 to 192 hours on call each semester.

We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of the student management team to correct this issue in recent weeks.

However, because of the previous and ongoing lack of compensation for on-call hours, we believe that we have been significantly underpaid over the course of our tenure working for Brown Dining Services. We would like to discuss retroactive compensation and are open to hearing Brown Dining Services’ thoughts on this issue. Furthermore, we would like to ensure that Brown Dining Services’ policies are updated to be in compliance with these labor laws.

Alec Brown ’19, former cashiers supervisor

America Lopez ’18, former Blue Room unit manager

Amber York ’21, former cashiers supervisor

Benjamin Bosis ’19, former cashiers supervisor

Benjamin Ostrowski ’17, former cashiers supervisor

Blake Ashton Wilkinson ’18, former cashiers supervisor

Casey Kim ’17, former cashiers supervisor

Christina Nguyen ’19, former carts supervisor

Ivan Ip ’21, carts supervisor

Jonathan Coates ’20, former cashiers supervisor

Joseph Fleming ’20, cashiers supervisor

Joshua Danielson ’20, former Josiah’s supervisor

Justin Champeau ’19, former Blue Room assistant unit manager

Kyle Gray ’21, catering prep supervisor

Logan Brunet ’19, former carts supervisor

Lucas Smolcic Larson ’19, Blue Room supervisor

Mallissa Sirimoungkhons ’19, cashiers supervisor

Maxwell Kozlov ’20, former carts and cashiers unit manager

Michelle Bazile ’18.5, former cashiers supervisor

Neidin Hernandez ’19, cashiers supervisor

Taonelly Brea ’20, cashiers supervisor

Tyco Mera Evans ’20, former Blue Room supervisor

Will Portilla ’19, former cashiers supervisor

Zachary Farrias ’21, cashiers supervisor


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